06 April 2005

Sykia and Archedamos

So, we went to Sykia in the Panorama Voulas area. It's a little doline very near the road, only about 20 m deep and not too much wider. Some git had thrown a dead dog into it - but it was fresh enough not to have smelled the place out. I have a little panorama made up (again with autostitch - I e-mailed the guy and should write about that too some time). This is the side which faces down-hill.

I also have, for the first time since the profile picture, an image of myself here (!).

- some will recognise the 1st VIII hat, there under the helmet. I have got into the habit of wearing it for a number of reasons - not least because my hair is getting long enough to be a real nuisance when it sticks to the strappy bits inside the helmet. And of course, the woolly hat is both warm and iso-thermic, in that it takes the sweat away from my head - when I'm sweating, that is.

After Sykia, which I guess was fun enough for the new kids, we cruised on down the dirt track to Archedimos' cave which goes by more names than I can remember all at once - there's Nympholeptos, the Grotto of Pan and the Nymphs, and some others as well.

This inscription is telling us that the cave is that of Archedimos, the one who has been taken by the nymphs. Nice. It's close to the entrance, and there are more inscriptions here and there.

Over at Hobby-O - (The Diary of John Cam Hobhouse, edited by Peter Cochran) we read in footnote 144 that Archidamus was said to have created it, and its votarists manifested all the signs of nympholepsy (“enthusiasm for an unattainable goal”).

Hobhouse visited the cave three days before Byron's 32 birthday - I first visited a few weeks after mine... He tells us that he wrote his name and Byron’s just above the nose. I did not see them, and did not really look, either, not expecting something like this.

So, here is Archedamos, walking one way and looking the other:

No sign of the names, but excavators may have seen fit to remove them since the writing of them.

Here, Rania is giving us a talk based on the stuff published in the bulletin of ESE. When I take Korinna, we're going to take the hobhouse texts and look around better. The Blue Guide (seventh? edition which Charlie gave me for my birthday in 1994) mentions the cave, gives the crappiest directions to it (and I'm not going to divulge on such a public forum how to go to the place), but has a nice an full description of the inside, which tallies with Hobhouse, and no doubt any excavation reports. The Blue Guides are good like that.

So here's the headless enthroned female deity mentioned in the three sources I have referred to:

She may be Isis, Demeter, Isis/Demeter/Ceres, or something else.

And here's the little altar thing, too:

Not a bad trip. Must get a helmet for Korinna and go back there.

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